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You probably won’t care about domain authority scores until the day you’re interested in creating a website. Then, tracking your website performance and comparing it with your competitors’ will become a top priority. 

Most owners of small, growing, or giant corporate sites are more likely to care about Domain Authority than regular folks. But to really understand the whole concept of Domain Authority and how it affects your website, you also need to be familiar with other similar metrics like Ahref’s DR and the Semrush AS.

This post will define and explain DA and how you can use it to improve your website’s visibility and search rankings. It will also discuss all the major domain scoring systems like Moz DA, Ahrefs DR, and Semrush AS.

What Is Domain Authority?

Moz created the Domain Authority metric to forecast a website’s ranking probability on search engine result pages (SERPs) accurately. DA ranges from 0-100, with higher scores implying better-ranking odds. A 100 score means competitors have a slim chance of beating you. DA considers over 40 factors like site size and domain age. 

In essence, Moz endeavored to create an SEO audit tool that mirrors Google’s algorithm and gives site owners an easy way to understand their website’s strengths compared to their competitors in a single score. Credibility and quality are the underlying principles of DA.

How to Check Domain Authority

You can use various online tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, or Semrush to check your website’s DA. These tools vary in degrees, but they can provide an accurate view of your DA score. 

Only Moz refers to DA as Domain Authority and the other tools use different names, such as “Domain Rating” or “Authority Score.” Nonetheless, they all follow a similar methodology in calculating DA by analyzing factors like backlinks, content quality, user experience, etc. 

Tracking Domain Authority Using Semrush

Another popular tool for checking your DA score is Semrush. This SEO auditing tool does not use the name Domain Authority or Domain Rating but instead has its novel metric called Authority Score (AS).

Semrush’s metric, AS, is similar to DA and DR in many ways, but it also weighs in other factors like organic search traffic and website popularity.

To access your AS score using Semrush, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Semrush account.
  2. Click on the “Domain Overview” tab in the top menu.
  3. Paste the site URL and hit “Search.”
  4. Wait for the results to pop up and go to the Authority Score.
  5. Once the results page loads, check the section labeled “Authority Score.”
  6. Here, you will see your website’s AS score displayed on a scale of 1-100
  7. You can also click the “Backlinks” tab in the left menu to see a breakdown of your backlink profile and how it contributes to your overall AS score.

Like Moz and Ahrefs, Semrush also allows you to track changes in your AS score over time and compare it with your competitors’ scores.

Checking Domain Authority Using Moz

  1. Go to the Domain Analysis tool on Moz’s website.
  2. Paste your target URL and hit the “Analyze Domain” button. 
  3. The result page will show your DA score on a scale of 1-100. 
  4. You can also compare your DA with other websites by clicking on the “Compare Link Profiles” button.

Accessing Your DA Score Using Ahrefs

Another popular domain authority score is from Ahrefs called Domain Rating (DR). This score also estimates the overall authority of any domain by factoring indicators like the quality of backlinks and the authority of referring domains. 

To access your DR score using Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Ahrefs account.
  2. Click on the “Site Explorer” tab in the top menu.
  3. Paste your target URL, and click “Search.”
  4. Wait for the results and check the section displaying the “Domain Rating.”
  5. Here, you will see your website’s DR score displayed on a scale of 1-100.
  6. You can hover over the score to see a breakdown of your backlink profile and how it contributes to your overall DR score.
  7. To track changes in your DA score over time, click the “Backlink Profile” tab from the left side menu and select the “Referring Domains” sub-tab.
  8. Here, you can see a graph of your website’s DR score over time and track any improvements or declines.

Ahrefs also helps you compare your website’s DA score with your competitors. Simply click on the “Competing Domains” option and enter the URLs of your main competitors.

It will give you a side-by-side comparison of each website’s DR scores, allowing you to see where you stand with your competition.

What Is a Good Domain Authority?

Now that you know how to access your DA score using various tools, it’s crucial to understand how to interpret the score accurately. 

It’s crucial to understand that DA is a relative metric, not an absolute one. It means your DA score can fluctuate depending on the comparison with other websites and the changes in their backlink profiles.

  • A good way to understand where you stand is by comparing your DA score with industry benchmarks. 
  • Remember that older and more established websites tend to have higher DA scores, so don’t get discouraged if you’re just starting.  
  • It’s also essential to consider the competitiveness of your industry and the quality of websites linking back to you. For example, a DA score of 50 may be considered impressive in a highly competitive industry, while it may not be as impressive in a less competitive one.

Understanding Page Authority

Page Authority (PA) is very similar to DA, but instead of measuring the authority of a whole website, it measures the authority of an individual page. It’s scored on the same scale as DA (1-100) and considers factors like backlinks, content quality, and link relevance.

Relationship between DA and PA

While these two metrics may seem similar, it’s important to note that they are not directly linked. A website with a high DA does not necessarily mean all its pages will have a high PA, and vice versa.

However, there is some positive correlation between the two metrics. Generally, websites with higher DA tend to have higher PA for their individual pages as well.

Why Did My Domain Authority Go Down?

There are several common reasons for a decrease in DA scores. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Changes in backlink profile: As mentioned earlier, both DA and PA factor in the quality and quantity of websites linking to your site. A sudden drop in the number or quality of backlinks will lead to a decrease in DA.
  • Algorithm updates: Google and others like Yahoo are always re-engineering their algorithms to improve search results. Similarly, SEO industry tools like Semrush and Ahrefs also update their algorithms. These updates can sometimes decrease DA scores, even if you haven’t made any changes to your website.
  • Technical issues: Broken links or slow loading speed can negatively impact your DA score.

How to Increase My Domain Authority

If you’re concerned about a drop in your DA score, don’t worry! You just need to check which of the following factors is going astray and put things back in order. It’s essential to be familiar with the key factors influencing DA to improve your website’s score. 

Here are the most important ones:

  • Link Profile: A strong link profile with high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites can significantly boost your DA.
  • Content Quality: Search engines like Google and Bing are trying to offer users the best responses to search queries, so websites with quality, relevant content get higher rankings and better DA scores.
  • Site Structure: A well-organized, user-friendly site structure can also positively impact your DA.
  • Site Age: Older websites tend to have a higher DA as they have had more time to build authority and credibility.
  • User Experience: Publications that deliver enjoyable user experience with fast loading speeds and easy navigation are likely to have a higher DA.
  • Site Size: Larger websites with more pages of quality content often have a higher DA than smaller sites. 
  • Social Signals: Search engines think users must like a page very much if they share it on social media for their peers to see. So, social media engagement will earn your site attention and improve your Domain Authority scores as it indicates that your content is valuable and relevant to users.
  • Competitor Comparison: It’s essential to compare your DA score with your competitors to understand better where you stand and identify areas of improvement.

If you haven’t noticed, you’ll find the same sentiment in this post: SEO packages for small businesses: key factors to consider.

Final Thoughts on Domain Authority Scores

Although increasing your DA may take some time and effort, it’s a critical factor in determining the success of your SEO efforts. A high DA score means your website is authoritative and has quality, valuable content that users find relevant. 

Improve your search marketing visibility by continuously monitoring your DA and implementing strategies to improve your authority.

Don’t be discouraged if you experience a drop in your DA score, as it can happen for various reasons. It’s an opportunity for you to identify possible gaps in your SEO strategy and address them promptly. 

Remember that DA is just one aspect of SEO, and it’s essential to have a well-rounded approach when optimizing your website.

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Author Jarod Thornton

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